Faculty mentor: Rebecca Kohn
Nguyen says the antioxidants produced in the body combat “free radicals” that can potentially cause damage to DNA and different proteins, leading to cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and other problems.
“Sometimes, not enough antioxidants are produced to combat the effects, which results in the diseases,” Nguyen says. And that means it could be essential to eat more blueberries and other fruits containing antioxidants.
This summer, Nguyen is researching the potential neuroprotective effects of the antioxidant Cyanidin chloride on C. elegans (roundworms). Essentially, her research could lay the groundwork for future studies and help determine if antioxidants can help reduce onset of diseases.
“I want to pursue a career that is more clinical-based, so summer fellows is giving me that research experience,” says Nguyen, who plans to attend medical school after graduating from Ursinus.